This item provides a brief introduction to the Volunteer Scheme for overseas projects. Full details can be found at www.buddhistpsychology.info/volunteering.htm
The Amida Volunteer Scheme trains and places individuals who have a gap period available for socially constructive work overseas. The training takes place in England or France and the placements are generally with Amida projects overseas, but may sometimes be with other Buddhist agencies. Volunteers in Amida placements receive good supervision and support and further training on the job. Currently we use placements in India and in Zambia. There are propects of placements in Vietnam and in Hawaii at future dates. If you would like to read about the experiences of those involved in this scheme, do visit the Amida Volunteer Weblog. You can also listen to a BBC interview with Amida volunteers "Azam and Georg talk to the Buddhists"
The main scheme involves a period of training, usually four to six weeks, usually in September-October, followed by a six month placement. On this scheme volunteers make a financial contribution (currently £800) that compares favourably with most other similar schemes. All travel and accommodation arrangements are made by Amida Trust. At the end of the six month placement volunteers return to UK for a debriefing session.
Ad Hoc Volunteering
In addition to the main scheme a certain number of ad hoc volunteers are accepted, these generally being mature applicants with particular skills to offer. These volunteers do not receive full formal training, but can access our training in the UK and on training retreats held periodically in France where they contribute toward running costs. Otherwise they only contribute to cover costs where they stay. They make their own travel arrangements, and join an Amida project overseas for a period of less than six months.
We are currently giving consideration to an Extended Scheme. In the extended scheme volunteers would make a larger contribution (probably around £2000), would receive their training at the Amida Retreat Centre in France and remain there for about ten weeks working on land management projects, then go to either India or Zambia to join volunteers on the Main Scheme for 10 weeks, followed by 2 weeks free time in which they may travel on their own account; then go to the Amida Hawaii project for a further 10 weeks where they will participate in ecological and other projects in association with Amida Hawaii and our partner organisation the New Moon Foundation, followed by a week of debriefing and a further two weeks of free time in Hawaii before return to UK or home.
There are also opportunities for volunteering in UK - see separate entry.
If you are interested in any of these three schemes or in volunteering generally, do get in touch with Sr Modgala and tell her about your interest.